225506 Cultural Responsiveness in Working with the Military: A Community-Based Participatory Approach to Program Development

Monday, November 8, 2010

Abigail Ross, MSW , Schools of Social Work/Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA
David Prouty, BA , Schools of Social Work/Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA
Samanda Bryant, BA , Schools of Social Work/Theology, Boston University School of Social Work, Boston, MA
Ellen Maynard, BA , School of Social Work, Boston University, Boston, MA
Ellen DeVoe, PhD , School of Social Work, Boston University, Boston, MA
The high operational tempo and the length of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have required more frequent and less predictable deployment rotations, higher exposure to combat among those deployed, and greater reliance on National Guard/Reserves than in any previous US conflicts. While military families and their service branches have shown remarkable resilience throughout the intense demands of these conflicts, very young children (ages five and younger) in military families are particularly vulnerable as a result of parental deployment. This paper will: 1) present emerging findings from a four year study funded by the Department of Defense to develop an intervention targeting the reintegration phase of the deployment cycle for very young children and 2) describe the ongoing participatory process of building a consumer and evidence informed family-based program that is feasible, acceptable, and culturally responsive to the needs of National Guard/Reserve military components. Primary data sources include in-depth interviews with OEF/OIF service members who are parents of young children (5 years and younger) around parenting, deployment experiences, and access and utilization barriers. Findings illustrated how service member parents coped with challenges of the deployment cycle. This collaborative approach to program development maximizes consumer input regarding deployment-related experiences, interaction with existing systems of care, and family perceptions of need related to reintegration and parenting of very young children. Implications of building a consumer and evidence-informed program culturally responsive to military needs will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe a culturally responsive approach to working with the military 2) Explain a process of developing a consumer and evidence informed program to support military families when a parent returns from deployment 3) Identify needs and barriers to access and utilization for New England-based military members

Keywords: Public Health Research, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Project Director of Strong Families Strong Forces, the program involved in the community-based collaboration.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.